Wilder, a 150-Seat Restaurant, Bar and Private Dining Space is Coming to Rittenhouse Square!
This fall, chef-restaurateur Brett Naylor along with his wife and partner Nicole Barrick will open Wilder, a three-story, 150-seat restaurant, bar, and private event space in Rittenhouse Square (2009-2011 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103). Originally set to open in early 2020 but paused due to COVID, Naylor and Barrick are excited to resume their full-scale renovation of the historic space, previously the Philadelphia Academy of Social Dance, that combines an original carriage house and townhome into one sprawling 4500-square-foot dining establishment. At Wilder, guests may enjoy nightly dinner at the bar or in the first and second floor dining rooms with lunch and brunch to follow. The restaurant’s third floor may be reserved for intimate dinner parties, secluded from the main dining areas. Naylor and Barrick chose the name Wilder to signify the fresh bounty of ingredients they like to source, cook and eat, a name that also aptly describes their vision for the space – one that naturally evolves as you move through, a meaningful progression that is also free and unrestrained.
Naylor has worked in some of Philadelphia’s favorite kitchens including Marigold Kitchen, Morimoto, and later as executive chef at Oyster House. Following his time at Oyster House, Naylor became partner of Mission Taqueria (though he is no longer affiliated). For his second restaurant, Naylor will bring on longtime friend Bob Truitt as executive chef. Chef Truitt, a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” (pastry, 2013) with extensive experience in some of the world’s best kitchens including El Bulli, Corton, and the Altamarea Group, will prepare creative seasonal cuisine that draws on these experiences. His menu will highlight peak season vegetables, fresh handmade pastas, and a selection of savory main plates. From the first floor’s open pizza kitchen and crudo & raw bar, Truitt and team will turn out piping hot wood-fired pizzas and a daily list of fresh raw fish and oyster preparations, sliced to order. A smart selection of wine and beer (on draft, by the bottle and by the glass), plus a creative set of cocktails and zero ABV drinks will be served.
The exhibition of pizza-making and crudo-slicing speaks to the way the space was designed, with the intention of drawing guests in further and inviting them to explore it with a hunger and curiosity. Created in collaboration with Hope Velocette of Velocette Studios, the aesthetic seeks to evolve and push forward traditional and contemporary design motifs and fixtures. A most striking example is the vintage Persian rugs, first sewn together then sculpted to the walls in a curved pattern outlined by patina brass. Each element serves to intrigue and excite, including various murals painted by Barrick, a local artist, across the ceilings and walls.
With so many details to catch, spaces to explore, and ways to enjoy Wilder, guests may find themselves visiting for a special intimate celebration, a quick bite and drink at the bar, or a casual weeknight dinner with friends. Grand opening date, menus, and design details will be released in the coming weeks as available.